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Giant Chinese god is covered up because it offends Muslims

Giant Chinese god is covered up because it offends Muslims

After Muslims threatened to tear down a 100-ft statue of a Chinese god, authorities in Indonesia’s East Java Province moved swiftly to cover it up.

According to this report, the Chinese deity was covered with an enormous sheet last weekend amid mounting ethnic and religious tensions across the country.

The Islamist campaign against the statue, a depiction of the third-century general Guan Yu, who is worshiped as a god in several Chinese religions, began online and soon spread to the gates of a Chinese Confucian temple in Tuban, near the Java Sea coast, where the figure was erected last month.

On social media, Muslims assailed the statue as an “uncivilized” affront to Islam and the island’s “home people”,  and a mob gathered this week outside the East Java legislature in the city of Surabaya to demand its destruction.

Statues deemed un-Islamic have been destroyed or vandalised around Indonesia in recent years, and several Chinese temples have been set on fire. Covering the statue with a large white tarp was a stopgap measure proposed by the temple’s officials after a governmental religious body pushed them to find a solution.

Some of Islamists who protested against the statue

Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, and ethnic Chinese — largely Christian, Buddhist or Confucian — make up less than 5 percent of the overall population. The recent anti-Chinese animus is driven in part by an increased influence of extremist Muslim ideology in the country’s politics, experts said.

Said Aan Anshori, a coordinator at the East Java Muslim Anti-Discrimination Network, which opposed covering the statue:

Anti-Chinese sentiment has become quite strong. It’s quite worrying to think that these sentiments could be used by politicians in the future.

In recent years, Muslim extremists have pressed for the adoption of Islamic law, or Shariah, throughout Indonesia. A civil court found the Christian governor of the capital, Jakarta, guilty of blasphemy against Islam in May. Islamists falsely claimed that President Joko Widodo was a Chinese Christian during his 2014 campaign.

Colossal statues of Guan Yu have been erected around the world. The Tuban statue, which took more than a year to build at a cost of about $188,000 (£144,000), is the largest of its type in Southeast Asia, according to Indonesia’s Museum of World Records.

Adding to tensions between Chinese and Muslim Indonesians is a sense that as Beijing becomes more dominant in the region – exerting financial and military influence – ethnic Chinese will profit at the expense of Muslims.

Said Andreas Harsono, the Indonesia director for Human Rights Watch:

It is growing religious intolerance, making their own interpretation of the Quran and using that hostile interpretation against the Chinese temple. They say that it is showing that China is dominating Indonesia.

Didik Muadi, a Muslim who organised the protests against the statue, said Muslims would destroy the figure themselves if the government did not intervene. But ee sounded a conciliatory note:

Actually, we can allow them to build the statue, just not as high as it was and it should be in the temple, not outside. We are tolerant.

He is quoted here as saying:

The figure …. has no historical relation to the Indonesian people. There are many Indonesian heroes or local independence fighters who better deserve to be memorialised as a statue in Tuban.

16 responses to “Giant Chinese god is covered up because it offends Muslims”

  1. Matthew Carr says:

    Personally, I would have been tempted to put two black eyeholes on the tarp but I’m sure that somebody would find a passage in the Quaran that would make that an even worse affront.

    Chill guys, it’s just a butt-ugly statue.

  2. L.Long says:

    “Chill guys, it’s just a butt-ugly statue.”
    But that is the real point! isLame has always been jealous of other religions because any statue of Mo would be butt uglier than anyone elses! That’s why they forbid images of Mo, they know how ugly the dude really was!

  3. Laura Roberts says:

    @MatthewCarr: my thoughts exactly! Put a burka over it and enjoy the ensuing show. But it is disturbing that the deluded twats have as much political clout as they do.

    Though, upon further reflection, it does remind me of deluded twats in America, such as conservative John Ashcroft, who in 2002 had curtains installed in front of the “Lady Justice” statue at the Dept. of Justice, to cover a bare breast.

  4. barriejohn says:

    Laura: It was two statues. They had been covered before on occasions, but Ashcroft decided on permanent curtains, at great public expense, in case (I think) he should be inadvertently photographed in front of one of them!

    And don’t forget that when President Rouhani visited Rome, a similar thing happened:

    http://freethinker.co.uk/2016/01/27/have-we-got-nudes-for-you-no-mr-president-rouhani/

    Wouldn’t that be “covering up sin”?

  5. Broga says:

    What futile, dreary lives they lead in pursuit of their trashy beliefs.

  6. Anthony Baker says:

    Its easy to get your own way.

    Belong to a religion in the name of which name wanton indiscriminate mass murder of innocent people are committed by lawless thugs then you can get anything you want. “Get rid of that statue or else we will shreik and wail and bitch about being offended and then inflict a suicide bomb on your citizens if you dont heed the warnings.”

  7. RussellW says:

    Anti-Chinese sentiment is not a recent development in Indonesia. As in the case of Malaysia there’s a toxic combination of religious and ethnic bigotry. The situation could become very nasty very quickly. The difference now is that Beijing now has the power to protect ethnic Chinese.

    Just another day in ‘secular’, ‘tolerant’ Indonesia.

  8. Vanity Unfair says:

    “Didik Muadi, a Muslim who organised the protests against the statue, said…
    The figure …. has no historical relation to the Indonesian people.”

    Unlike, for example, a C6 – C7 Meccan trader who never left the Arabian peninsula.

  9. StephenJP says:

    RussellW, that was my reaction also. In the case of Malaysia, their anti-Chinese attitude led in short order to the secession of Singapore, which (whatever one may think of its social policies) has since enjoyed considerable economic success.

    Minorities the world over have historically made a living by working hard and keeping their heads down. The Chinese communities in SE Asia have done this for decades. The difference between them and (dare one say) the prewar Jewish communities in Europe is, as you say, the existence of a rather substantial Chinese power a bit to the north. But whether the latter would be prepared to intervene on behalf of those who they must see as class traitors is another matter.

  10. RussellW says:

    StephenJP,

    I’m not so sure that Beijing wouldn’t intervene in order ‘to protect Han Chinese from persecution’, if it were in its strategic interests to do so.

    The days when Muslims could promote anti-Chinese pogroms in Indonesia, Malaysia and the rest of SE Asia, with relative impunity, are probably over. Unfortunately many hare-brained Muslims haven’t got the message yet.

  11. Robster says:

    Perhaps the muslims could use the giant statue to model the latest “Lady in Bag” fashions for 2017? The white is a nice touch but the conservatives would be happier with various shades of black, possibly.

  12. DOM says:

    It is an ugly statue and now it looks like the worlds largest ghost.

  13. Italian Scallion says:

    These people are so blinded by their stupid belief in Islam. They get offended by the least little thing. They really need to grow up and act like adults instead of spoiled children. You want to be offended? Try this on for size. Allah and Muhammed plug each other up the poop chute at least once a day.

  14. Vanity Unfair says:

    To complete a tryptych at the top of the report, the third photograph would show the sheet being whisked away and the statue having vanished.

  15. Cali Ron says:

    Can we put a sheet over the muslims and make them disappear? I find their willful ignorance offensive.